I landed in India after twenty-three hours of flight time. I enjoy long flights however gruelling it may seem – there seems to be something about being suspended in the air – which is very freeing. And I look forward to landing and coming out of the aeroplane. Not only my mind but also my body and other senses realize that I am home — the humid and hot air, that smell and most importantly, the sounds. People are speaking in an Indian accent – which is not an accent for me, technically speaking. It’s the sounds that fascinate me the most and this blog is dedicated to those familiar sounds.
Horns: You do not even have to get out of the airport to listen to the honking sounds. The small golf carts in the airport had a horn to them to get people to move aside.
Pressure Cooker: In India, the house is very close to each other as there are a lot of us who need to fit in a small space. One can always listen to the pressure cooker in some house or the other – lunch, dinner. Some homemaker is busy cooking.
Crows: I am not sure about other countries, but the crows in India are distinct. You can hear them during the day cawing, anywhere.
Dogs: There are so many stray dogs in India, and they seem to come to an understanding amongst themselves. They choose a street for them, and that’s their territory. God forbid – another dog or a new person comes to the road – they will bark their heads off until somebody comes out to see what the ruckus is all about.
Hawkers: Yes, street hawkers are still popular. They sell all sorts from curtains to carpets or even vegetables or will buy old newspapers from you. You will hear at least one a day.
Frogs/Insects: If it is the rainy season, you will hear the cacophony of the frogs, which is a consistent ringing.
Traffic: It does not matter where you live, but you will hear at least one scooter/car or even buses on the road near you. Or some truck is moving near you.
Neighbour’s TV: If you are careful enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of what your neighbours are watching from at least one room in your house. It is hot enough that people leave at least one window open.
When I lived in Bombay, we lived near Bombay dyeing – mill which had a constant humming sound. And when it shut down on national holidays, I had a hard time sleeping. I saved the best for the last – Fans. Yes, all rooms in all houses have a fan, and they all like people have a unique personality which changes depending on their fan speed. Some squeak on lower speeds and some rattle at higher speeds but they all make a noise.
These noises or sounds help us remind that we are all connected and if nothing else that we all have to bear the same sounds together in the human predicament. And in this world of divisiveness, we need to look for more connections.
How are you finding connections with other humans?